21.37 | Posted in

Here are 10 key business leadership skills you’ll need to succeed as a leader:

  1. Lead By Example. You can’t be an aloof leader, someone that’s never around and incapable of getting your hands dirty. One of the best ways to lead is by example - pitching in where needed, lending a helping hand, and making sure that the work you do is clearly understood by your team.
  2. Passion. A leader without passion isn’t a leader. He’s a paper pusher. Or a taskmaster. Or a government employee… Passion drives a lot, and you can inspire so much in others through your own passion and enthusiasm. That doesn’t mean you have to be constantly cheery, it means you’ve got to believe in what you’re doing and what your company is doing.

  3. Be Organized. A disorganized leader isn’t leading, he’s chasing his own tail. Disorganization breeds nothing but more disorganization. If you’re frazzled and messy, your team will be too. When you’re organized you’ll be much more productive and so will everyone else.
  4. Delegate. You can’t do everything. A great leader needs to be able to delegate effectively. The key to delegating successfully is giving employees ownership of the work you assign them. They can’t just feel like they own the work, they really have to.
  5. Take Ownership and Responsibility. Although you’ve just delegated work and truly given your team ownership, you also have to take ownership and responsibility at all times. Your team has to know you’ll be there for them through the good and the bad times. That doesn’t mean you absolve people from making mistakes or ignore crappy work/effort, but it does mean you take responsibility for the big picture.
  6. Communicate Effectively. Duh. Everyone knows great leaders have to be great communicators. But there are certain points of communication that many people forget. For example, it’s critical that you communicate to employees how their work matters in the bigger picture. Are they a cog, or does their work truly make a difference?

    Communicating success is also something leaders forget to do. People need affirmation. They want to know they did a good job. You just have to tell them.

    And be precise. Insecure leaders will often ramble; uninterested leaders cut things off to quickly. Whether you’re giving praise, providing constructive criticism, or defining goals and to-dos, you have to figure out how much to say and in what order. Be precise, specific and concise. Get to the point.

  7. Be Brave and Honest. Cowardly leaders will shy away from any number of situations that crop up regularly when running a team. The project your team has worked on for 6 months just got shelved. Now what? Or you have to talk to someone about their lack of effort recently. Do you ignore the problem? Or maybe it’s time to take your product into a new market. Do you hobble forward, scared and nervous, or do you grab the market by the throat?

    Leaders are brave.

    And honest. Tell it like it is. Don’t sugarcoat, don’t obfuscate. Don’t be a jerk either. You have to learn how to present things to your team in an honest but balanced manner.

  8. Great Listener. A huge part of being a great communicator is being a great listener. If all you want to do is talk, you’re not a leader. Keeping people motivated means listening to them, asking them questions, understanding their issues. When you listen more, you can respond more effectively and get to the heart of things much faster.
  9. Know Your People. You have to know your people. You don’t have to be best friends or even socialize outside work, but you do have to know what makes them tick. You need to know something about their personal lives because their lives outside work matter. Their lives outside work drive a great deal of their success (or lack of) at work. Keep track of simple things: birthdays, marriages, children, etc. The more you know your people the more common ground you’re likely to find, the more you’ll be able to connect.
  10. Be a Follower. Benjamin Disraeli said, “I must follow the people. Am I not their leader?” That sums up many of the other points so beautifully. Great leaders are followers too. If you’re a leader without following, you’re a dictator. And as fun as that sounds… Being a leader-follower means finding value in your team, getting inspired by your team, encouraging your team to communicate, brainstorm and be open.

Very few people are great leaders overnight. It takes time and practice. As long as you’re open about learning along the way and working with your team on leadership versus dictating to them, most people will be happy to go on the journey with you.

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18.49 | Posted in

This past week I wanted to get a tree pruner to come out and estimate how much it would cost to top a tree in my yard. The tree, a gigantic maple, is interfering with the hydro lines running into the house, and I'm not brave enough or foolish enough to attempt such a job myself.

Opening my handy yellow pages, I found eight tree care/pruning companies listed, and called all of them. Of the eight companies I called, only one answered the phone! When I dialed the other seven, all that happened was the phone rang and rang.

Now, in this case, I was a pre-sold customer. I wanted this particular service, and I had gone to the trouble to seek out businesses that would provide this service. As you would guess, the company that answered the phone got the job.

Being a busy person, I don't have the time or inclination to call back several times on the off-chance that someone may be available to talk to me, when the company I've called has given no indication that they're even interested in doing business with me. Your potential customers are busy people, too, and won't call back either.

What can we assume about these other small businesses? Is it true that although they bothered to place ads in the yellow pages, they're not interested in doing business? Hardly. But they're definitely businesses that are not realizing their full potential, because they're not making it easy for potential customers to communicate with them.

While there are many small businesses that are one person operations, that doesn't mean that the shop should be closed when that one person isn't available for a customer to talk to. It's crucial that you ensure that your potential customers can reach you at all times, or at least get the impression that you do want to talk to them.

If those other seven tree pruners were out working when I called, they could have given themselves a chance at my business by having a specific message on their answering machine, telling me that they appreciated my call and saying when they would be back in the office that day, or giving me an alternate cell phone or pager number. They could have someone else answer the phone, such as a telephone answering service. They could have given me a chance to leave a message for them on voice mail, or used call forwarding to take my call themselves.

You need to make it easy for your customers to communicate with you by ensuring that you have the telephone and communications services that let your potential customers at least know that you appreciate their interest. If you're one of those people that's trying to run a business with an "unmanned" phone, contact your phone company today and get the communication services you need. The telephone is or should be a business tool, not a business killer.
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18.47 | Posted in

We have found that our best strategy for growth and market awareness has been through association.

In today’s business environment no company can expect to provide all services under one roof. In fact most companies today rely on their business partners to bring complimentery offerings to the table.

Our alliances have been fundamental to our growth and market awareness. We may have been a small company but by adding complimentery services our value add grew. Customers come to us first for advice and recommendations before they approach our business partners.

We provide project management and not just referrals so we can leverage our strengths with those of our partners. It also eases our clients by providing support for their technology endeavours.

Additionally our business partners provide additional promotional opportunities. They can also add to their service offering which mutually benefits both parties.

Small businesses need to show they can measure up to larger sized competitors by leveraging their service or product offering. This approach helps to remove barriers and if executed correctly could have your business partners recommending you and adding to your referral base. Read More......
18.42 | Posted in

If you're running a home-based business, you need to be especially conscious of the image your home-based business is presenting to potential customers and/or clients.

The professional environment you work in (live in) is often seen by clients if your business is also your " meet and greet" area; that is if you see your clients in your home office or studio. How they perceive you and your business is reflected in how your home office appears.

An untidy desk, unrelated business clutter, uncomfortable atmosphere, children or pets roaming in or out, all reflect a look of unprofessionalism. Of course it depends on the business you are in. (Children and pets may be fine if you're operating a day care or pet sitting service). As a professional dressmaker, my clients need to feel comfortable and confident; they need to trust I can do the job they require of me.

Plenty of room to park outside, an area for consultation displaying my past work and any accolades received are some of the things I like to offer, things that make sure my home-based business has a business look. These often tell a story about who I am without lengthy discussion. A room decor befitting the "Wedding work" I do, adds to the professional appearance I want them to perceive.

In other words, the atmosphere outside and inside your home office tells a story about you and your business too. The customer is the most important part of your business and they need to feel confident about hiring you. Let your surroundings tell a story for you.

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18.33 | Posted in

Phone answering skills are critical for businesses. The telephone is still most business's primary point of contact with customers. And the way you answer your company's phone will form your customer's first impression of your business. These phone answering tips will ensure that callers know they're dealing with a winning business:

1 Answer all incoming phone calls before the third ring.

2 When you answer the phone, be warm and enthusiastic. Your voice at the end of the telephone line is sometimes the only impression of your company a caller will get.

3 When answering the phone, welcome callers courteously and identify yourself and your organization. Say, for instance, "Good morning. Cypress Technologies. Susan speaking. How may I help you?" No one should ever have to ask if they've reached such and such a business.

4 Enunciate clearly, keep your voice volume moderate, and speak slowly and clearly when answering the phone, so your caller can understand you easily.

5 Control your language when answering the phone. Don't use slang or jargon. Instead of saying, "OK", or "No problem", for instance, say "Certainly", "Very well", or "All right". If you're a person who uses fillers when you speak, such as "uh huh", "um", or phrases such as "like" or "you know", train yourself carefully not to use these when you speak on the phone.

6 Train your voice and vocabulary to be positive when phone answering, even on a "down" day. For example, rather than saying, "I don't know", say, "Let me find out about that for you."

7 Take telephone messages completely and accurately. If there's something you don't understand or can't spell, such as a person's surname, ask the caller to repeat it or spell it for you. Then make sure the message gets to the intended recipient.

8 Answer all your calls within one business day. I can't emphasize this one enough. Remember the early bird? The early caller can get the contract, the sale, the problem solved... and reinforce the favorable impression of your business that you want to circulate.

9 Always ask the caller if it's all right to put her on hold when answering the phone, and don't leave people on hold. Provide callers on hold with progress reports every 30 to 45 seconds. Offer them choices if possible, such as "That line is still busy. Will you continue to hold or should I have call you back?"

10. Don't use a speaker phone unless absolutely necessary. Speaker phones give the caller the impression that you're not fully concentrating on his call, and make him think that his call isn't private. The only time to use a speaker phone is when you need more than one person to be in on the conversation at your end.

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18.28 | Posted in

1. Keep in mind that networking is about being genuine and authentic, building trust and relationships, and seeing how you can help others.

2. Ask yourself what your goals are in participating in networking meetings so that you will pick groups that will help you get what you are looking for. Some meetings are based more on learning, making contacts, and/or volunteering rather than on strictly making business connections.

3. Visit as many groups as possible that spark your interest. Notice the tone and attitude of the group. Do the people sound supportive of one another? Does the leadership appear competent? Many groups will allow you to visit two times before joining.

4. Hold volunteer positions in organizations. This is a great way to stay visible and give back to groups that have helped you.

5. Ask open-ended questions in networking conversations. This means questions that ask who, what, where, when, and how as opposed to those that can be answered with a simple yes or no. This form of questioning opens up the discussion and shows listeners that you are interested in them.

6. Become known as a powerful resource for others. When you are known as a strong resource, people remember to turn to you for suggestions, ideas, names of other people, etc. This keeps you visible to them.

7. Have a clear understanding of what you do and why, for whom, and what makes your doing it special or different from others doing the same thing. In order to get referrals, you must first have a clear understanding of what you do that you can easily articulate to others.

8. Be able to articulate what you are looking for and how others may help you. Too often people in conversations ask, "How may I help you?" and no immediate answer comes to mind.

9. Follow through quickly and efficiently on referrals you are given. When people give you referrals, your actions are a reflection on them. Respect and honor that and your referrals will grow.

10. Call those you meet who may benefit from what you do and vice versa. Express that you enjoyed meeting them, and ask if you could get together and share ideas.
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23.31 | Posted in

with a polite rebuke to learn to expect workers who are lazy, the only sit-sit, chat, and removing cigarettes can make you frustrated in the work environment. Want to change it? These tips are!

1. First, you can reprimand employees with a soft way. Ask why the work decreased. If he needed to leave a note with the work must be completed first. In this way, children will feel your fruit Since we had in the works.

2. Evaluation of their work show that you have created. Say the laziness that they recorded on your records. Make them aware of the lazy, so they can change the way it works.

3. Show your decision. Do not terbuai or even participate in the farce-funnies. Show your children fruit that is serious.

4. If you have children fruit, and you can chide him sound more directly with hardware. I intend harassing, only to show that he made a mistake.

To remember, if you give verbal warnings, do not forget to also give the children the fruit when you achievement. learning is superior to the fair and wise!

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